majority? (Was Re: [ER] A Summary of the Problems with the Other Methods

Saari at Saari at
Mon Feb 17 16:20:44 PST 1997

Moved from ER for obvious reasons...

>Mike O:
>I mentioned a basic & simple majority rule principle, an
>obvious democratic principle honored only by Condorcet's
>method. In this final reply, I'd like to state it one
>more time:
>If a majority of all the voters indicate that they'd rather
>have A than B, then if we pick A or B, it should be A.
>Only Condorcet will never unnecessarily violate that basic
>& obviious majority rule principle.

This brings up one of my favorite counter-examples to the above
seemingly-obvious statement.

Assume that a pie flavor is being voted on (by some method).  Assume that all
voters rate Chocolate as "Excellent".  Assume that 60% of the voters rate
Apple as "Excellent(+)", the other 40% rate Apple as "Awful".  All other
choices do worse.  (These are honest ratings.)  

Now we look at how the votes come out under different voting systems.  Assume
every person votes according to his/her true feelings.  With any ranked
voting system, Apple will receive 60% of the first-place votes and will win.

Many will claim that Apple is clearly the correct outcome, yet I note that it
leaves 40% of the group dissatisfied.  Whereas Chocolate is liked by
everybody, and seems like a better outcome.

Of course, some Apple-lovers *might* see the big picture and choose to vote
inaccurately for Chocolate (just to be nice to the Apple-haters), but I hate
to think that the only way to get a good outcome requires discussion and
inaccurate voting in order to work.

Is there a voting system which allows/encourages honest voting yet has any
possibility of producing a Chocolate winner?

Mike S

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